Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: I don't know if I typify music collectors or not, but the last time I bought an album, either LP or CD, was in 2004.

No, I didn't stop collecting my favorite tunes then. Quite the contrary, I have never acquired so much music as in the past 10 years — all via downloads.

How does my transition compare to the rest of the country?
—Chuck Davidson, Madison, Wis.

DEAR CHUCK: You could be the poster boy for a decade of changes in the way most people acquire their music.

Notice I didn't say “purchase” their music, though paying for the product accounts for a great deal of how it changes hands, but the numerous sources for peer-to-peer and otherwise gratis audio files cannot be overlooked.

As for some specifics, the only data reported to the Record Industry Association of America are of transactions resulting in revenue.

Here are those numbers:

In 2004, physical audio products — mostly digital media (CDs), but with some analog (vinyl and tapes) — accounted for roughly 98.5% of music sales. Paid digital downloads, then in its infancy, made up about 1.5%.

Now, physical media and digital downloads are essentially equal, both at approximately 40%. The remaining 20% accounts for miscellaneous income sources, such as from licensing fees and concert revenues.

Missing from the comparatively lonely process of downloading files, at least for me, is the many wonderful face-to-face connections I have enjoyed while record hunting in stores.

Fortunately, an international day now exists for shopping and socializing at authentic brick and mortar record retailers. Read on:

DEAR JERRY: Normally on Record Store Day (April 20) I am buzzing around the Bay area shops, in search of the RSD limited edition vinyl releases.

This year, however, I was in Paris, and was pleasantly surprised to find RSD being celebrated there, with lots of stores participating. They call it Les Pochettes du Disquaire Day (The Covers of Record Day), and they have many French pressings of American stars along with records by their own artists.

How many other countries are on the Record Store Day bandwagon?
—Christian Chappelle, Pittsburg, Calif.

DEAR CHRISTIAN: For Record Store Day, we now know of at least eight countries where it's a big deal. All have one-day exclusives and limited editions of 1,000 or fewer, plus in-store festivities including appearances by artists whose records are on sale.

This year, several hundred RSD albums came out here as well as in Great Britain.

Besides the U.S., France, and the UK, April 20th is also Record Store Day in Canada; Germany; Belgium; Australia, and the Netherlands.

DEAR JERRY: Of the eight current coaches and judges on The Voice and American Idol, how many are themselves Grammy Award winners?
—Dee Dee Fitzsimmons, Deming, N.M.

DEAR DEE DEE: Here are the current National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy totals for each of the singing competition shows:

The Voice coaches (20):
Shakira (9); Usher (8); Adam Levine/Maroon 5 (3); Blake Shelton (0)
Though the Grammy is about the only major award not yet on Shelton's mantle, he has received four nominations from the NARAS.

American Idol judges (10):
Mariah Carey (5); Keith Urban (4); ); Randy Jackson (1); Nicki Minaj (0)
Jackson's award is based on his being co-producer of Gladys Knight's 2001 album, “At Last,” though the NARAS does not credit him individually. If he has it, he has it. So we'll count it.
Nicki Minaj, the most entertaining Idol judge since Simon, has been nominated four times but is still waiting on her first Grammy win.

IZ ZAT SO? Keith Urban, who was born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, is among the few from Down Under to win a Grammy. Here are a few other famous Aussies to be so honored in America, and when they won:

Helen Reddy (1972)
Olivia Newton-John (1973, 1974, 1982). Olivia was born in England and raised in Australia.
Barry Gibb/Bee Gees (1977, 1978, 1980). Barry was born in England, but in 1958 the family moved to Australia, where the Bee Gees group was born
Rick Springfield (1981)
Men At Work (1982)
Kylie Minogue (2003)

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